It is somewhat difficult. Try it right now if you dare. Say: “I could be wrong.” Try: “That was my fault.”
It kinda gets stuck in your craw, doesn’t it? That’s southern-girl talk for hung up in your throat.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” The phrase “poor in spirit” is only used once in the Bible, here in the beatitudes found in Matthew 5.
Poor means reduced to beggary; destitute of wealth, influence, position, honor; lowly; afflicted; helpless; powerless to accomplish an end; needy. If we apply this definition to the spirit, we can see that “poor in spirit” means to be a beggar. It puts us in the position of begging mercy from our God. I like this definition from a commentary by Jamieson, Fausset, Brown, “those who in their deepest consciousness realize their entire need.”
Living in Williamson County can skew your view of affluence. With soccer moms driving Hummers, it can prove difficult to think of yourself as rich when you drive used minivan. However, the fact that I own a car places me in a category of being richer than 84% of the world. This means I have a harder time seeing my need, my poverty, my poverty of spirit.
When Jesus spoke these words, I don’t think he meant money. But I do think when you have money, you have a harder time with the concept of poor in spirit.
I was born naked and I will return to God naked. Needy. Nothing in my hands. Nothing covering my body. Today I want to realize my poverty of spirit, to know that my only hope for Heaven is Jesus Christ.
So much of my life I have depended on performing well to get somewhere. To accept the gift of Jesus, this perfectionism has to die. I can glory in my weakness because He says to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
With Paul I proclaim, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge of and belief in love.